Fly-Fishing Northern Patagonia

World-Class fishing on YOUR Terms! Full CUSTOMIZATION!

 

Andes Drifters, our partner in Argentina, is located in the northern Patagonia town of San Martin de los Andes.Their specialty is creating fly-fishing adventures on the fabled waters surrounding the towns of Junin and San Martin de los Andes. They create itineraries that are 100% customized and will provide you with the fishing experience of a lifetime. Direct, daily flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche or San Martin make them extremely accessible.

 

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TOTAL CUSTOMIZATION by a WORLD CLASS OUTFITTER!

Every trip with our Andes guide is a custom itinerary based on YOUR desires! They will match your ability and the fishing conditions to build the trip of a lifetime. The key word being desires; a completely custom trip! We’ll consult with each party to build an itinerary around what you want.


Together with our knowledgeable staff, you’ll plan out the trip that best matches what you want to do!

Rivers Available: 

As this is a fully customizable outfitter, thier area of operation is the waters of Northern Patagonia. If there is an area you are particularly interested in fishing let us know and we'll do our very best to meet your needs. The following is just a small portion of the available fisheries. 

 

LIMAY RIVER 

 

A Classic Float on a legendary River. Known for it’s big Browns the Limay is famous for being one of the most epic multi-day float fishing in the world! The Limay River is one of the largest rivers in the region and flows for 236 miles from it’s headwaters at Nahuel Huapi Lake. Upon joining the Neuquen River it forms the famous Rio Negro. There are five reservoirs along the length of the river.

The Limay is one of the most mysterious rivers in all of Patagonia. It is the largest drainage basin in the region and flows for 236 miles from its origin in Nahuel Huapi Lake until it joins with the Neuquén River to form the Rio Negro. The Limay is interrupted in this 236-mile journey by five reservoirs and is a classic freestone river. From it’s source the Limay flows 30 miles before its first reservoir, it then flows immediately into two more reservoirs. Our fishing focuses on this 50-mile stretch, below the Pichi Picún Leufú Dam where the river becomes the Limay Medio (Middle Limay).The only tailwater in the region. It ends at Ezequiel Ramos Mejia Lake, the largest reservoir on the entire system. The Pichi Picun Leufu Dam stable release is responsible for one of the most productive trout habitats in the world. It is also a prime spawning run of several large minnow species that swim up stream annually. Lots and lots of food for big trout! Limited access to the upper 15 miles of the Limay Medio and virtually no access on the lower 35 miles means little pressure and you’ll truly enjoy being the only camp and probably the only fishermen on the river! Our outfitter focuses on the lower less accessible area. The 40 mile float takes 6 days and 5 nights, the only boats that fish this part of the river all season!

Resident and Migratory fish can be caught up and down the river, but the real reason to fish the Limay is the Migratory Browns and Rainbows, which go to huge proportions. Browns average between 26 and 30 inches and trophies ranging from 36 – 40 inches! The Rainbows average 24 to 28 inches with trophies topping 30 inches.

If you want a trophy fish on a fly, and do not want to go to Tierra Del Fiego, the Limay is the trip for you.

 

SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES AREA RIVERS

 

ALUMINE RIVER –

ALUMINE RIVER3


A great afternoon walk and wade, lodging is at the picturesque Casa De Campo. At 80 miles this is one of the longest rivers in Northern Patagonia. With the majority of it’s length being very productive trout waters. Which translates into countless fly fishing opportunities. The Aluminé is a freestone river who’s headwaters are Aluminé Lake it then flows to join the Catan-Lil and Chimehuin to become the Collon Cura River. With moderate to no access the fishing pressure is very low. Multi-day or single day floats available. January and February are prime times as the inchworm hatch will be in full force, a great time to hook a big wily Brown Trout.


MALLEO – One of the most famous rivers in Patagonia. Known for it’s excellent dry fly fishing. A mid-size river that flows out of Tromen Lake and is a tributary of the Alumine River. Has what many consider the most abundant and predictable hatches though the fishing season. A medium size river the Malleo is one of the most famous rivers in Patagonia, it’s a dry fly enthusiasts dream. Meandering through steep canyons, large meadows, and willow lined banks. The road following the Malleo allows for easy to moderate access. It is not large enough to float so it is a wade fishing river, while you may encounter a few fly anglers on the river. It is never crowded.

MALLEO PANORAM2

The two sections of the Malleo, the upper and lower have a different feel. The upper section consists of faster moving water and is lined heavily with willows. The lowers section which flows through the Mapuche Indian Reservatio, is slower and becomes more canyon like. Willows only grow at one bank at a time so the lower section is easier to move, cast, and wade through.


CHIMEHUIN RIVER –

BOAT  CHIMEHUIN3

Home to one of the largest populations of trout in the entire region. The Chimehuin is one of the most well known fly fishing trout rivers in the world! A classic stream that flows freely through a perfect place for a multi-day float. It would take a lifetime to learn all the holes, riffles and runs. The Lake Huechulafquen formed at the bottom of the Lanín Volcano. It flows for 30 miles until it feeds into the Alumine to form the Collon Cura River. From the town of Junin, to the mouth is known for the best fishing. The lower section is slow and is an amazing dry fly fishery, with very little fishing pressure in the lower section.

COLLON CURA RIVER –

COLLON CURA RIVER

One of the largest river systems in the region and a the abode of some very large trout. The Collon Cura is made from numerous rivers with the main tributaries being the Alumine, Chimehuin, and Catan-Lil Rivers and flows nearly 50 miles to the Piedra del Aguila Reservoir. The Collon Cura is a great dry fly river early in the season, then moves to a very unique minnow fishery in mid to late summer then back to a dry fly fishery as the weather cools in fall. Late January massive numbers of minnows move upstream from the lake to spawn. This is a great multi-day float option, with camping on islands and fishing underutilized by other anglers.

CALEUFU RIVER –

BOAT  CALEUFU2

One of the most picturesque streams in all of Patagonia, the Caleufu River forms after the conjunction of the Meliquina and Filo Hua-Hum Rivers. Running through a beautiful canyon, rock formations draw your eye and your cast. It becomes a medium sized river roughly 60 miles from the Collon Cura River. Mostly a floating river, this is a wonderful option for your multi-day float, expect to see Andean Condors, and other wildlife as you chase the denizens of the river. The river is floatable up to late January. After that the operation switches to the lower portions to focus on the minnow migration, much like the Collon Cura River.

QUILLEN RIVER - The Quillen River, a tributary of the upper Aluminé is a great dry fly stream, and forms from Quillen Lake in the historic Lanín National Park. A freestone stream flowing for about 16 miles until its junction with the Alumine River. The upper sections run slowly and winds through a beautiful valley, as you move down the river the gradient becomes steeper and forms the classic pocket water many fly fishers treasure. A very small stream the Quillen is only fished by a handful of wade fishermen every year.

 

Spring Creeks

springcreeks 8563

In addition to the major rivers in the surrounding area we also have fishing access to several spring creeks. These free flowing streams are created by underground aquifers as opposed to melting snow pack from the Andes Mountains. Water is “pushed” by the force of pressure from the underground source and this creates flows that remain relatively consistent and cool throughout the season.

Relem Scenic Jumping fish copy 2 Landon M photo

Many of the spring creeks that we fish offer slower moving or flat water. This environment fosters a high degree of insect activity including mayflies and caddis. Not surprisingly, trout (brook, rainbow and brown) thrive in these conditions. This is truly a dry fly fishing paradise for anglers in search of sight fishing and trout hunting possibilities.

THE GUIDES

ADCAMPING


Flat out world class guides. We have numerous references. Guides will spend the entire float with you, and are ever present in camp to help mend equipment or just tell stories. 

SAMPLE ITINERARY #1


DAY 1 Saturday
Arrival at local airport direct from Buenos Aires.
A representative meets you at airport, transports you to lodge.
Tour San Martin de los Andes, followed by time for shopping.
Attend Argentine wine tasting.
Welcome dinner.

DAY 2 Sunday
Breakfast.
Head to Caleufu River to begin 25-mile, three-day float trip.
Full day of fishing for rainbow and brown trout using hopper and big attractor dry flies.
Reach camp (set up in advance by trained crew) at last light of day.
Dinner ready and waiting upon arrival. Enjoy Argentine asado (traditional barbecue made with different cuts of beef and lamb, sausages and served with a variety of salads) accompanied by Argentine wine.

DAY 3 Monday
Breakfast.
Second full day of catching rainbows and brown.
Arrive at preset camp with the last light of the day. Another dinner ready and waiting upon arrival. Enjoy chicken on the disco (cooked in a heavy iron wok with onions, peppers and a unique wine sauce).

DAY 4 Tuesday
Breakfast.
Third full day of catching rainbows and brown.
Reach take-out point.
Drive back to San Martin de los Andes for dinner, hot shower and comfortable bed.

DAY 5 Wednesday
Breakfast.
Leave San Martin de los Andes to fish Malleo River, one of region’s most famous dry fly fishing streams
Wade stream in different sections, enjoy catching rainbows and browns, including sight fishing conditions under willow tree branches
After evening hatch, return to San Martin de los Andes for a wonderful dinner, hot shower and comfortable bed.

Day 6 Thursday
Breakfast.
Leave for adventure float on Chimehuin River (a must-fish river in northern Patagonia).
Enjoy complete day of float.
Enjoy great mayfly hatches.
Arrive at preset camp with the last light of the day.
Dinner ready and waiting upon arrival. Enjoy entire lamb cooked Argentine style on the iron cross against the fire, accompanied by fine wine.

Day 7 Friday
Breakfast.
Fish and float two different rivers by floating the Chimehuin and reaching the junction of the Collon Cura River by afternoon.
Reach take-out point.
Drive back to San Martin de los Andes to enjoy fine goodbye dinner.

Day 8 Saturday
After breakfast, to airport for departing flight.
This is a sample Itinerary; our Patagonia Outfitter takes pride in taking complete care of each guest. If there is something you’d like to do or see, we can arrange it for you. If you’d like a certain cigar in camp waiting for you, a certain drink or other luxury let us know and it shall be.

 SAMPLE ITINERARY #2

DAY 1 Saturday: Arrive to Chapelco Airport – Check in at Casona del Alto Lodge –

Malleo River walk & wade afternoon fishing session – Argentine Fine Wine Tasting & Welcome Dinner at Casona del Alto At your arrival to Chapelco or Bariloche Local Airport your guide will be waiting to give you the official welcome. We will drive to Casona Del Alto Lodge for check in at your room Casona del Alto Lodge is run by owners Fernando and Lilia Gimenez who will assure personal service that will make you feel at home. Located on the side of the mountain and overlooking the San Martin de los Andes valley and Chapelco Mountain range this is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the views and nature. The lodge is a five minute drive from downtown. Casona del Alto facilities: Casona del Alto has a gym facility that will allow you to work out every day before your activities. Also the Lodge has swimming pool and a Jacuzzi for two persons on an inside private room of the Hotel with good views. This afternoon we will head to the nearby Malleo River to enjoy a walk and wade fishing session on the famous dry flies fishing river. We will be targeting rainbows and browns in a range 15 to 20 inches where large fish can show up anytime. Later on you will return to Casona del Alto for a Delicious dinner.
Evening Wine Tasting & Welcome Dinner This evening you will meet back at the Lodge for an introduction to the Argentine Fine Wine World. Your host will take you on a virtual tour of the most noted wine areas of our country. During this tasting we will present representative labels of each region where you will be surprised by the differences. This will be follow by a delicious Dinner prepared by Chef Adrian. Lodging: at Casona del Alto Lodge Meals: Lunch, riverside picnic and Dinner, at the Lodge

DAY 2 Sunday: Lake Tromen sight fishing with dry flies – Casona del Alto Lodge

This morning we will head northwest near the border with Chile and right on the base of Lanin Volcano to spend the day fishing at Lake Tromen. This beautiful natural Lake of glacier conceptions it is natural source of water for the Malleo River and is featured by pristine and crystal-clear waters. You will be able to spot large rainbows, browns and even brook trout on the different shore structures creating sight fishing opportunities. We will spot at a beautiful secluded beach for lunch where you will have the chance to catch some trout from land while enjoying a picnic and contemplating views of Lanin Volcano.
Lodging: at Casona del Alto Lodge Meals: Breakfast, at the Lodge; Lunch, at lake beach and Dinner, at the Lodge.

DAY 3 Monday: Chimehuin River Two Days Float Trip – 1st DAY –  The Deluxe Camp

This morning we will be leaving for one night Casona del Alto and we will float for the next two days 20 of miles of the middle and lower Chimehuin until its junction with Collo Cura River. You will be fishing mainly dry flies as much as with small mayflies and caddis as with great grasshopper’s action. This river is known as the most productive dry flies stream in North Patagonia and a real paradise for trout habitat. We will be targeting rainbows and browns in a range 15 to 22 inches where larger fish are possible anytime. By evening time we will reach our Deluxe Camp set on a river island for a crew of specialists from our staff that will float ahead of us. At our arrival we’ll find everything ready for your enjoyments. From beautiful firewood to a comfortable camp equipped with chemical toilet, hot shower tent, dinning tent and sleeping tent for every 2 persons with cots, inflatable pads and prime quality sleeping bags. Then our Chef will surprise you with a drink from our mini-bar and a selection of appetizers will be served previous the main dinner. For dinner you will enjoy a traditional Argentine Asado cook on the firewood cokes; you will be tasting different beef cuts and great sausages along with a variety of fresh salads and the best Malbec wines.

Lodging: At Andes Driters Deluxe Camp

Meals: Breakfast, at the Lodge; Lunch, picnic riverside and Dinner, Argentine Asado at Andes Drifters Camp

DAY 4 Tuesday: Chimehuin River 2 days Float Trip – 2nd DAY – Return transfer to Casona del
Alto Lodge.This morning after breakfast we will start to float the last section of the Chimehuin before join
the Collo Cura River that it’s famous by its large brown trout and great hopper actions that will assure
fun on the surface all day long. By the end of our fishing journey we will reach our take out and you will be privately driven back to Casona del Alto Lodge for another delicious dinner by Chef Lilia

Lodging: at Casona del Alto Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, at camp; Lunch, picnic riverside and Dinner, Casona del Alto

DAY 5 Wednesday: Depart from Chapelco Airport – Fly back to Buenos Aires This morning after breakfast at the Lodge will be time to check out and after a shopping opportunity downtown San Martin you will be privately driven to Chapelco Airport to take your return flight to Buenos Aires.

 

LODGING AND ACCOMMODATIONS  

1

Lodging and accommodation options are varied and numerous. Offered are a variety of unique lodging opportunities (fishing and non-fishing), in town accommodations, and single or multiple nights by the river in deluxe river camps.  Itineraries can be designed to offer one or more of these options during your visit. Lodging location is often based on how you choose to structure your adventure.

Regardless of where you choose to stay you will enjoy wonderful food with fresh vegetables, lamb, beef, chicken and homemade pasta. Superb Argentinian wines and local beers are included in your package.

Fishing Lodges

Premier accommodations can easily be arranged for those seeking the larger fishing lodge experience. Staying at our dedicated fishing lodge gives you the opportunity to be joined by fellow anglers. This creates an environment where stories are told and new friendships are made.

Also offered is private boutique fishing lodges located adjacent to several of the local rivers. These are more intimate in nature and an excellent place to share with only members of your group. A personal chef, wait staff and housekeeping is included. 

Lodges

Your visit can also feature deluxe lodging that is not specifically associated with fishing. These accommodations will please the most discerning traveler. Drawing from our experience we offer options that provide first class service with an emphasis on attention to detail.

As with any of our lodging option first class dining is an important part of the overall experience. Your stay will include traditional and non- traditional menu items with many dishes prepared using local ingredients. Quality Argentinian wines are also included in these lodging packages.

Private Villas

Private villa rental is another lodging option. We have arrangements with several property owners in the surrounding area that make their residences available to our clients. All these properties are premium quality and located in highly sought after areas. Availability is sometimes a consideration so please let us know well in advance if this is your lodging preference. A chef, wait staff and housekeeping are included. 

Cabanas

Many travelers enjoy returning to San Martin de los Andes after a day of fishing or sight seeing. Lodging can be provided in a townhouse complex that features traditional architecture and design associated with Patagonia.

Accommodations are located within walking distance to Lake Lacar, and the best shopping and restaurants in town. Dinner is prepared and served by your personal chef, and accompanied by wine parings. Breakfast is also prepared and served prior to your morning departure. A self service bar and refrigerator stocked with beer and soft drinks is also included. Daily housekeeping services are provided.

Small Boutique Hotels

We have an established history and working relationship with several boutique hotels in San Martin de los Andes. To meet our selection criteria these hotels must offer high quality accommodations and service.

TRAVEL

All international flights leave the US in the evening, usually somewhere between 8pm and 10pm, and arrive in Buenos Aires the following morning. Delta, United and American offer daily flights, as do Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN Airlines. For everyone traveling out of the Southeast, we have found that Delta out of Atlanta or LAN out of Miami offer the best flights. These flights usually cost between $750 and $1,100 round trip. (Please check LAN flights carefully to confirm that you are not flying first into Santiago, Chile, and then on to Buenos Aires.)

Plan for about four hours on the ground between flights once you reach Buenos Aires. You will have to clear Argentina customs and travel to the domestic airport via taxi or shuttle bus. This trip can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. We will set up this transfer for you, but you will need to pay for it. This usually costs around 300 Argentine pesos (about $100 US) for a group of six.

(Note: Argentina uses the $ symbol to denote its currency, but it represents pesos there, not dollars.)

Your domestic air travel in Argentina is limited to Aerolineas or LAN. Aerolineas is the only airline flying into the San Martin de los Andes area. This is the most convenient option as you land about 15 miles from San Martin de los Andes. However, space is limited and you will need to make your reservations in advance. For alternatives, both LAN and Aerolineas have multiple daily flights to Bariloche, but the drive from there to San Martin de los Andes is approximately three hours.


ELECTRICITY

Electricity in Argentina is 220-volt AC, so you will need an adapter for your computer, cell phone charger, and any other electric appliances you bring from the US. You can purchase a converter at Best Buy or similar stores for about $20.

IN ADDITION TO FISHING


San Martin de los Andes is a wonderful place for spouses and traveling companions who seek alternatives to fishing, especially those who enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. See our list of activities for non-fishing companions [link to list].

 

SHOPPING

San Martin de los Andes and Bariloche both offer wonderful shopping. Although these are small towns without malls and high-end boutiques like those in Buenos Aires, you will find distinctive stores that sell merchandise ranging from handmade sweaters and leather products to one-of-a-kind items crafted by master silversmiths and local artisans. What’s more, this area is world-renowned for its chocolates. It’s a good idea to buy extra, because many of these delicacies will be eaten before you can take them home!

 

MEDICAL CARE

Should you experience a medical problem during your visit, Argentina has excellent, modern medical facilities and well-trained health care professionals. However, most US insurance companies do not provide coverage in Argentina, and you will have to pay for your treatment on the spot unless you have taken out supplemental medical insurance.

 

Contact Us For More Information
  1. Normally all inquiries are answered on the same business day. For immediate assistance during weekday business hours, please call one of our consultants at 713-524-7235. Let's hunt!
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